Lego Matrix: Trinity Help

>> Saturday, December 5, 2009



And the side by side comparison:

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"idiots whose parents paid for prep school"

I can't believe I missed this last year, but I just came across this today when reading a column Chris Hedges from last fall.

Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, “What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it.” I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.

[...]

I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions. I have enough of my own wealth to manage. Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest. That is fine; I am content with my rewards. Moreover, I will let others try to amass nine, ten or eleven figure net worths. Meanwhile, their lives suck. Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they look forward to their two week vacation in January during which they will likely be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices. What is the point? They will all be forgotten in fifty years anyway. Steve Balmer, Steven Cohen, and Larry Ellison will all be forgotten. I do not understand the legacy thing. Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life.

[...]

I have no interest in any deals in which anyone would like me to participate. I truly do not have a strong opinion about any market right now, other than to say that things will continue to get worse for some time, probably years. I am content sitting on the sidelines and waiting. After all, sitting and waiting is how we made money from the subprime debacle. I now have time to repair my health, which was destroyed by the stress I layered onto myself over the past two years, as well as my entire life — where I had to compete for spaces in universities and graduate schools, jobs and assets under management — with those who had all the advantages (rich parents) that I did not. May meritocracy be part of a new form of government, which needs to be established.
Andrew Lahde, the hedge fund manager who made a killing speculating on the subprime mortgage defaults.

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Sarah Palin, The Racist

From The New Yorker review of Going Rogue:

She is equally circumspect on the issue of ethnicity, pointing out that Todd, whom she met in high school, is “part Yupik Eskimo” and opened her to the “social diversity” of Alaska. (Wasilla is more than eighty per cent white.)Palin, though notoriously ill-travelled outside the United States, did journey far to the first of the four colleges she attended, in Hawaii. She and a friend who went with her lasted only one semester. “Hawaii was a little too perfect,” Palin writes. “Perpetual sunshine isn’t necessarily conducive to serious academics for eighteen-year-old Alaska girls.” Perhaps not. But Palin’s father, Chuck Heath, gave a different account to Conroy and Walshe. According to him, the presence of so many Asians and Pacific Islanders made her uncomfortable: “They were a minority type thing and it wasn’t glamorous, so she came home.” In any case, Palin reports that she much preferred her last stop, the University of Idaho, “because it was much like Alaska yet still ‘Outside.’ ”
Oh, so Palin felt more comfortable in Idaho because there were more white people than brown people, unlike Hawaii? As The New Republic noted, "Why hasn't this gotten more media attention?" Excellent question, I say.

(Conroy and Walshe are Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe, the authors of Sarah From Alaska)

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Mr. Bitchy

On Friday morning, Glenn Greenwald appeared with Christopher Hitchens (and some Republican lady) on Dylan Ratigan's "Morning Meeting." Greenwald, unfortunately, didn't get as much talking time as Hitchens did, but he did make this comment in the letters section of his Friday column/post:

You're often at a time disadvantage when you're not in studio and it's a 3-person panel, but I agree: this was egregious.
Dylan seemed impressed with Hitchens' pompous, rambling tripe, and particularly fascinated by the "wisdom" that all we have to do to to fix things there is change the "vectors."

I tried interrupting several times but to no avail, though I expressed a few points i wanted to express.

I actually thought it was sort of funny when the woman (whose name I don't know) interrupted me to say, in this shocked and incredulous tone: "you think we should just leave??!!?!"

They're so accustomed to the idea that we have the right to invade and control whatever countries we want that the only crazy idea to them is: "Hey, we've been waging war there for 8 years now - maybe we should stop":

"You mean we should just leave!?!?!"

"Well, it's not really our country, so yeah."
So, in the letters, I wrote:
Dylan seemed impressed with Hitchens' pompous, rambling tripe,
This is why I tend to refer to Hitchens as "Mr. Bitchy." I suppose it's a little high-schooler-ish, but I think it's more reflective of Hitchen's personality in a Dances-With-Wolves way.
Then I checked what I had written about Hitchens a couple of years ago. It wasn't "Mr. Bitchy." It was "Mr. Bitter." "Mr. Bitchy," I remembered this morning, was a guy down south who would come over and complain about everything when the team I was on at the time was working on gutting a house down to the studs in New Orleans. Oops! Oh well, it's not like it mattered much anyway.

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Maybe I'll get a chance to see this

Yesterday, the local newspaper had an article about one of the documentaries premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival announced that former Utah newsman Reed Cowan would bring his new documentary to the elite festival.

By 5 p.m. Thursday, Cowan learned religious and anti-gay activists were organizing, discussing online whether they should gather at Park City to show their angry opposition to the screening.

Cowan's film is "8: The Mormon Proposition." It is described on the Internet Movie Database, www.imdb.com, as "a scorching indictment of the Mormon Church's historic involvement in the promotion and passage of California's Proposition 8," the proposition that banned same-sex marriage in California.

"I know that it's going to be protested," Cowan said in an e-mail interview from his home base in Florida.

"I just got forwarded a blog threatening boycotts and protests. ... I can tell you thousands of gay-rights leaders from all over the country are going to be marching in counterpoint to the other marches."
Guess this means the Mormons are going to have to do more on behalf of gay rights than just support measures up for review in the Salt Lake City Council.
Cowan said he initiated the film project because he saw the need.

"I saw pain," he said. "Pain from people who were affected by the 'YES ON 8' movement. Pain from LDS people with gay family members. My motivations were 100 percent personal."

Cowan said officials of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declined to be interviewed for the documentary. He said LDS Church spokeswoman Kim Farah spoke briefly with producer Steven Greenstreet in a segment that is included in the film, but then insisted in going off the record.

According to an Associated Press story, Farah later told a reporter, "It is obvious that anyone looking for balance and thoughtful discussion of a serious subject will need to look elsewhere."

Other high-ranking church officials refused to be interviewed, Cowan said.

"Because the church, as they put it to me, is only interested in participating in stories that 'make them look good,' exact quote, unfortunately the official LDS Church reaction is not reflected," he wrote in his e-mail.

"That's ultimately a tragedy for the LDS Church. We had no other choice but than to tell the story through the statements of their past and present leaders, and the actions of their more verbal members."
And we all know it isn't going to look good. I wonder what steps their public relations people are planning now. They have about 6 weeks until it premieres.
Cowan is well aware that he is bringing a documentary critical of the LDS Church to ground zero.

"The chickens are coming home to roost," he said. "What happened in California began in SLC. And now we're bringing it home."
Yeah, baby!

I just hope this plays outside of Park City too. I don't want to drive all the way up there in the snow to see a movie.

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Goodbye Butterstick!

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Background on "Butterstick" as a name is here.

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Our police state neighbor to the north

>> Friday, December 4, 2009

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I wouldn't think it possible until I heard the news last week. I have Democracy Now! updates appear in my Facebook feed, which is how I heard about it.

I've been to Canada three times so far. Twice I've been to British Columbia and Vancouver Island. I really like the BC ferries. They're so big that I felt much safer on those than the smaller Washington state one I've been on. Granted, the Washington state ferry had several smaller stops in the San Juans, which is why they need smaller ferries. The one time I've been in Canada and not gone to Vancouver Island was when a friend from Utah was visiting one of my other friends, and we all went up to Vancouver for dinner.

Yes, just for dinner because he had never been out of the US before. They drove down to Tacoma to pick me up, and then we all drove up to Vancouver for a late dinner. This was in early 1998, so all we had to do was present our drivers' licenses at the border. Needless to say, the border guards were quite suspicious of our dinner plans, so of course we had to pull over and go inside while they searched the car, presumably for drugs. (That was our best guess.) We were there for about a half hour before they let us to go, but we didn't get the interrogation and photography treatment that Amy Goodman got.

The full Democracy Now! segment on this is well worth watching:
But I particularly like what one of the anti-Vancouver Olympic Games said to The Globe and Mail:
Olympic critic Chris Shaw, meanwhile, couldn't be happier.

“This is the best pre-Christmas gift I've had in years. The CBSA has taken a non-issue and made it a major one. Millions of Americans now know about this,” he said. “There's nothing quite like pissing off a major talk show host. Only if they tasered her could it have been any better.”
So true. Police states function much better when ALL of the press is under sanction. Duh!

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Down With Love

Now this was a movie I wanted to see. I missed seeing it in the theaters all the way back in 2003. I wanted to see it because I loved the trailer. In fact, I still love the trailer. I know this didn't get the greatest reviews when it was released, back in 2003, but I really liked it. Yes, it's cheesy. It's full of double entendres just like some of the Bond films.

I know it's a send-up of the Doris Day-Rock Hudson romantic comedies even though I have never seen one. To me, it's like a candy-colored, editorial-cartoon version of Mad Men. I've only seen two episodes of Mad Men, but still, I can see the cultural similarities since these are both supposed to take place at about the same time, in the early 60s.

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Saved!

>> Thursday, December 3, 2009

This is the second time I've netflixed this. First time I've finally watched it. I've had it for a little over three months. I actually considered sending it back without watching it, again. The last time I had it, I sent it back without watching it and put my account on hiatus. One of my friends suggested I watch it, three years ago. It's been in my queue ever since. Clearly, I've been jonesing to see this since...never.

But I watched it this afternoon. It was only an hour and a half, yet it felt a lot longer than that. I actually took a break watching it to go get something to eat for 10 minutes or so. Something that doesn't happen when I'm invested in watching something.

The-boy-who-would-be-gay scenes at the beginning reminded me of the minor fracas going on within the ELCA. Watching it, I kept on thinking that people who are like this in real life purposely keep themselves insulated from the rest of the world. You know, because they're under siege from everyone else's sin. They're never going to think of their own, like Mandy Moore's "Hilary Faye." And that, in reality, most of the people who probably--I'm guessing--see this film would be in automatic agreement because they're not the hardline Christianists the film satirizes and chronicles. Hence, it preaches to the choir. The mega-church-attending Christianists will never see themselves as the persecutors; they only see themselves as persecuted by secular elites.

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This is right up there with Robert Wexler's

>> Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a Lobby - Ploughshares Fund
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating

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Tiger Woods is an ass

and not because of his car accident or who he is or isn't fucking. No, he's an ass because he chooses money over having a social conscience.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


As Dave Zirin put it in one of his columns:
This squeaky-clean reputation has helped Woods become the richest athlete in history, the first billion-dollar man. His career course earnings are $92 million. Only when you factor in advertisements, corporate appearances and other off-course aspects of "Tiger Inc" does Woods reach billionaire status.

As the saying goes, behind every great fortune is a great crime.

Following his car "accident" Woods's agent said that it is unclear whether he will attend his foundation's Chevron World Challenge Golf Tournament. In 2008, Chevron entered a five-year relationship with Tiger Woods' foundation under the guise of philanthropy. But if Woods had a shred of social conscience, this partnership would never have existed. Lawsuits have been issued against Chevron for dumping toxic waste all over the planet. Alaska, Canada, Brazil, Angola and California have all accused Chevron of dumping. Even worse, Chevron has a partnership with Burma's ruling military junta on the country's Yadana gas pipeline project, the single greatest source of revenue for the military, estimated at nearly $5 billion since the year 2000.

Ka Hsaw Wa, co-founder and executive director of EarthRights International, wrote in an open letter to Woods, "I myself have spoken to victims of forced labor, rape, and torture on Chevron's pipeline--if you heard what they said to me, you too would understand how their tragic stories stand in stark contrast to Chevron's rhetoric about helping communities." Chevron is underwriting a dictatorship but Tiger Woods apparently sees them as upstanding corporate partners.
It used to be quite common for professional athletes to take political stances on issues. I remember hearing about Muhammad Ali's stance on the Vietnam War in the 60s or 70s even though I didn't exist at the time. I remember hearing about it because in the 90s another sports columnist contrasted Ali to the dominant sports figure of the decade—Michael Jordan. Anyone remember Michael Jordan taking public stances on the big political issues of the 90s? Yeah, I don't remember any either. Money was priority number one. As it is for the ethically challenged Tiger Woods.

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Tristero got it right

on Mike Huckabee's choices as governor:

In the comments to my last post about Huckabee, several folks felt that the real issue in the Clemmons case was a miscarriage of justice, namely sentencing a juvenile for life imprisonment for armed robbery, and that Huckabee's behavior was perfectly sensible. It is astounding that anyone would fall for Huckabee's obvious, and lame, attempt to change the subject, yet so many people have, including prominent liberals I respect. It's almost as if Huckabee has a reality-distortion field around him as powerful as Steve Jobs'.

First of all, it is Huckabee's delusion that he is Jesus Christ, not genuine compassion, that spins the Clemmons case as a miscarriage of justice against a hapless juvenile. It is clear from the record that Clemmons was then, and continued to be, an extremely troubled person with a propensity for extreme violence. Huckabee ignored this, focusing - Christ-like - on an opportunity to show mercy towards a young sinner who showed what Huckabee misapprehended as signs of redemption. The issue is Huckabee's lack of judgment.

If you argue that it is unfair to sentence a juvenile to life in prison for an armed robbery committed when he was 16, I won't disagree with you. But that is not the issue here. The issue is Huckabee's spectacularly bad judgment and his failure to take responsibilty for his behavior. The justice system, for all its incredible faults, has numerous mechanisms, including but not limited to commuting a sentence, for dealing with mitigating circumstances, like the age of an offender, signs of redemption, and an unfairly long sentence. Flawed they surely are, imperfect and inadequate no doubt, but they exist. Huckabee, imitating Christ, chose to deal with the Clemmons case in a very particular way, showing not mercy, but simply awful judgment that set into motion further tragedy.

The incredibly cruel, incredibly unjust way that juvenile offenders are treated in the United States has nothing to do with the fact that Huckabee behaved the way he did. It simply gave him an excuse to exercise his egomania, his delusions of grandeur, and his incompetence. As a result, innocent people died.

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Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

This was a disappointment, particularly when compared to Battlestar Galactica: Razor, which was very good. The main story and some of its "revelations" such as what happened to Shelly Godfrey were almost no-brainers. She went out an airlock? I actually figured as much when I first saw the episode.

As Entertainment Weekly said, it's practically a clip show. Not what I wanted to see. I thought it was going to be about all the planning that happened before the attacks on the Colonies, not start with the Colonies getting nuked and proceed through the first two seasons from a different vantage point. Those first ten to fifteen minutes when they're showing the Cylon basestars get into position to nuke 12 planets was the most interesting part.

When they showed the Cylons talking about how grateful the humans should be for having their pitiful lives ended, I thought what they were saying was kind of cheesy. Like, who would say something like that, i.e. wreaking havoc on a group of people equates to an act of generosity.

Actually, since I came across this last week, American political leaders have talked that way quite frequently as A Tiny Revolution pointed out a few years ago:

  • Andrew Jackson regarding the US government's position towards Native Americans:
    Rightly considered, the policy of the General Government toward the red man is not only liberal, but generous.
  • Teddy Roosevelt on the same subject:
    In [our] treaties we have been more than just to the Indians; we have been abundantly generous... No other conquering and colonizing nation has ever treated the original savage owners of the soil with such generosity as has the United States.
  • The US involvement in Vietnam by an editor of US News & World Report:
    What the United States is doing in Vietnam is the most significant example of philanthropy extended by one people to another that we have witnessed in our times.
  • And just for good measure, a non-American, such as Hitler on Poland just prior to invading:
    Herr Hitler replied that he would be willing to negotiate, if there was a Polish Government which was prepared to be reasonable and which really controlled the country. He expatiated on misdoings of the Poles, referred to his generous offer of March last, said that it could not be repeated...
  • Oh, lets not leave out Goebbels too:
    If we Germans have a fateful flaw in our national character, it is forgetfulness. This failing speaks well of our human decency and generosity, but not always for our political wisdom or intelligence. We think everyone else as is good natured as we are.
Yeah, because Goebbels was the German Mother Theresa of generosity!

If anything, the "re-imagined" version of Battlestar Galactica nails the us-versus-them dynamic throughout the entire series to a tee. When your current enemies, not friends, start talking about "generosity" towards you, it's best to keep them as far away as possible.

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That was then

But the main battle over health and cost containment will come in May, when Hillary Rodham Clinton's task force is scheduled to produce a master plan for reform. Then, a massive attack is expected to be mounted against both the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. The president is already warming up for that with remarks like "The pharmaceutical industry spends $1 billion more each year on lobbying and advertising than it spends on developing new and better drugs."

Task force working papers indicate that the health reform plan will also call for a second round of tax increases, $50 billion or more, to pay for insurance coverage for those who now lack it. These increases may include a tax on health benefits over a certain limit, a tax on corporations, and special taxes on products defined as "bad for your health." This innovative approach would target not only tobacco and alcohol, but pollutants and guns, which are arguably a health hazard.

As a London economist has noted, the momentum behind some kind of federal reform to America's health system now seems unstoppable, but probably not without a battle over who controls, and who pays.
—Daniel Schorr, "Health Care Is a Major Issue in the Clinton Economic Plan," Come to Think of It: Notes on the End of the Millennium, p. 41-2

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The Blind Side

>> Monday, November 30, 2009

So yesterday we got to see the movie that we had planned to see the week before. The showing was almost sold out, close but not quite. If Twilight hadn't been playing on three screens, it would have played in a bigger theater no doubt.

My inner cynic was mollified. I don't have much to quibble about the movie. I know some people have complained that the character "Michael Oher" in the movie doesn't speak much. I can definitely see a (possible) gentle giant stereotype in the story, but I don't know what the real Michael Oher is like in real life. Perhaps he's soft spoken as well?

I teared up quite a bit during the first half, and why not? The poor kid is struggling against impossible odds—a society geared to the rich and white, not fairness. The legacy of Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman kept coming to mind at certain points.

But at a certain point, it stopped being sad points and clearly became about love. The kind of love that moves beyond differences and circumstances and etc.

No wonder it had an 18% increase in its box office from opening weekend. In times like these, who doesn't want to see a movie about someone making it?

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There goes Mike Huckabee's political career

That was my first thought upon hearing that the suspect, Maurice Clemmons, in the Lakewood Police Massacre had his prison sentence commuted by Huckabee.

Then I took the time to read a lengthy article from 2005 by the Arkansas Times regarding Huckabee's involvement in the parole of Wayne Dummond, a convicted rapist with a long criminal record. This passage stood out:

The state official who advised Huckabee on the Dumond case confirmed that the governor knew very little about Ashley Stevens’ case:

“I don’t believe that he had access to, or read, the law enforcement records or parole commission’s files — even by then,” the official said. “He already seemed to have made up his mind, and his knowledge of the case appeared to be limited to a large degree as to what people had told him, what Jay Cole had told him, and what he had read in the New York Post.”

Jay Cole, like Huckabee, is a Baptist minister, pastor for the Mission Fellowship Bible Church in Fayetteville and a close friend of the governor and his wife. On the ultra-conservative radio program he hosts, Cole has championed the cause of Wayne Dumond for more than a decade.

Cole has repeatedly claimed that Dumond’s various travails are the result of Ashley Stevens’ distant relationship to Bill Clinton.

The governor was also apparently relying on information he got from Steve Dunleavy, first as a correspondent for the tabloid television show “A Current Affair” and later as a columnist for the New York Post.

Much of what Dunleavy has written about the Dumond saga has been either unverified or is demonstrably untrue. Dunleavy has all but accused Ashley Stevens of having fabricated her rape, derisively referring to her in one column as a “so-called victim,” and brusquely asserting in another, “That rape never happened.”

The columnist wrote that Dumond was a “Vietnam veteran with no record” when in fact he did have a criminal record. He claimed there existed DNA evidence by “one of the most respected DNA experts in the country” to exonerate Dumond, even though there was no such evidence. He wrote that Bill Clinton had personally intervened to keep Dumond in prison, even though Clinton had recused himself in 1990 from any involvement in the case because of his distant relationship with Stevens.

“The problem with the governor is that he listens to Jay Cole and reads Steve Dunleavy and believes them ... without doing other substantative work,” the state official said.
It's downright Palinesque. Why bother doing your homework when conservative commentators can do it for you? Huckabee had no problem lying about his involvement in this matter two years ago.

Of course, there are others...

Wow. He let a convicted murderer go free because he found Jesus? WTF? (A few more details can be found here.) And this is a man who some consider worthy of the presidency? Huckabee's political career should be sinking faster than the Titanic today.

****

I first found out about this shooting yesterday when I saw a headline on the Huffington Post about a shooting in Washington State. I knew at that moment that it was probably in the Tacoma area, just going off a gut feeling. Sure enough it was. I'd driven by that area numerous times since it's near PLU, my alma mater.

I had worked for campus safety two years when I was there, so until they released the names of the slain officers, I was worried that I may have worked with one of the fallen. I didn't, but it was something that bothered me for awhile.

They keep on saying that the shooting was close to McChord Air Force Base; although, that is technically true since the fence separating McChord is right next to South Steele, realistically PLU is closer since any of the gates to enter McChord are farther away.

At this point, there's nothing I want more for them to find this guy and put him in jail. I keep checking the Seattle Times and Huffington Post for a headline saying Clemmons was caught. I sure hope he is.

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I used to call it "Fuckbook"

>> Sunday, November 29, 2009

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Could he make it any more obvious?

Ted Casablanca on Friday:

Dear Ted:
Call me naive, but how can Fake à la Ferocity travel around the world and not get caught with heroin? Surely she can't risk withdrawal on her jaunts. Is this why she has a pilot's license?
—Nan in Wisconsin

Dear Drugged Traveler:
Fake's on the synthetic stuff now, that's not illegal.
Why not come out and say it? Angelina Jolie is a heroin addict.

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It could be over in six months?

Devin Faraci at CHUD:

With New Moon likely to make yet another metric fuckload of money this weekend we need to find the bright side to the entire Twilight mania. There must be something good that comes from this awful Mormon fantasy that seems to have invaded our culture on every front. That something is the eventual movie version of Breaking Dawn.

Even though New Moon has made a bazillion dollars and even though the third Twilight book, Eclipse, is already filming, Summit has declined to announce the fourth and final Twilight book as a movie. There's a good reason for this: Breaking Dawn is completely fucking insane, and it is probably totally unfilmable. But if they do film it... man, we are in for a treat.
I thought the first one was insane enough. But the fact that the next movie will come out this summer and no fourth one confirmed as of yet means the rest of the world could be mercifully spared another year of bizarre anticipation about this crap.

I will never understand the inanity that is Twilight. But Devin at CHUD is wise enough to recognize the hilarity that Breaking Dawn culminates.
Breaking Dawn opens with Bella Swan, the lacteal heroine of the series, finally getting married to Edward Cullen, the mopey vampire hero. They go off to honeymoon on Isle Esme, a Brazilian island the Cullen clan owns (this is already ridiculous beyond belief. Imagine a vampire going snorkeling; it basically happens in this book), and Edward is afraid to fuck his new bride. The reason: he's super strong and she's just a human - Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex type of situation here. But Bella wears him down and Edward throws it in her - and knocks her the fuck out, leaving her badly bruised.

Let's go over that again: Edward fucks Bella into unconsciousness. This alone should have you running to Fandango to pre-order your tickets, but it only gets better.

Despite being knocked out cold by his sexual style (and having the headboard destroyed), Bella goes back to Edward for seconds. This time he knocks her up. Yes, an undead vampire apparently has enough viable sperm to impregnate a human woman while fucking her off the coast of Rio de Janero. Stephenie Meyer, you fabulous idiot!

The baby in Bella's belly starts growing incredibly fast. And it starts hurting Bella, as each kick it gives has the super strength of a vampire behind it. As it grows, Bella gets sicker, and then the good stuff starts. The baby kicks so hard it breaks Bella's ribs and then severs her spine. Are you imagining Kristen Stewart wearing a fake pregnancy belly and pretending to have been suddenly crippled by her own fetus? Because I am and it's making me laugh and laugh and laugh.

Oh wait, I missed something. Edward is completely freaked out about the baby, fearing it will kill Bella. He tries to convince her to get an abortion (but seriously, how could she? Vampires are tough to kill even in this shitty series), and goes so far as asking Native American wolfboy Jacob to impregnate his wife so that she can have the baby she desperately wants. I'm dizzy with how ridiculous this is, and we're just getting started.

Eventually the baby starts to get born and Bella is dying. The baby has telepathy, by the way, so everybody can read its thoughts while it's in the womb, and it turns out to have an essentially adult mind. Like Alia in Dune; I would accuse Stephenie Meyer of ripping this off, but anyone who thinks that Meyer might have read Frank Herbert has never been within spitting distance of Twilight. The woman is a moron.

In a moment that demands to be shown on the silver screen, Edward gives Bella an emergency C-section with his fucking teeth. It's like something out of XTro, for the love of God. It's so horrible it's brilliant, and this scene alone is why I remain firm in declaring that David Cronenberg must direct Breaking Dawn. This is surely his movie.

Once the baby is out, Bella gets vamped by Edward, as she's about to die at any moment. Then comes the most astonishing turn of events in 21st century literature, and possibly in the entire history of awful fiction aimed at tweens: Jacob the werewolf, who has been madly in love with Bella, sees the new baby girl and immediately imprints on her. What this means, in layman's terms, is that he falls in love with the baby.

I want to pull this out on its own: Jacob falls in love with a baby.

The book makes no bones about this; while Jacob doesn't want to fuck the baby right off the bat, he can't stand to be away from it and visits everyday. His love has been transferred from Bella to the baby (who has the tongue shattering name Renesmee), and because of the science behind imprinting he'll love her forever. So one day he's going to stick his wolf dick in this girl that he see as a bloody newborn. Romance is not dead, it's just being abused by insane Mormon writers.

There's more in Breaking Dawn - the Volturi come back, for one thing - but these are the main amazing events that demand this book to be turned into a film. I will not rest until I have seen a movie in which a werewolf falls in love with a baby. Hell, once I've seen a werewolf fall in love with a baby I may quit movie watching - I will have seen the ultimate culmination of a century of cinema. The entire film of Breaking Dawn would play like the weirdest exploitation film since Doris Wishman died - brutal sex, bizarre body horror, unbelievable pedophilia.

A werewolf falling in love with a baby. This is why Thomas Edison invented this shit in the first place. So we could see a werewolf fall in love with a baby.
I can't imagine how you would make a movie out of that shit either, but I know all the mocking and hilarity that would/will ensue if they did/do. Falling in love with a baby and not in a parental way? Who are the nuts who are devoted to this shit? Seriously. Some of them clearly need some kind of therapy.

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The DDL Third Oscar Theory

Some people happen to be convinced that Daniel Day-Lewis is a contender for a Best Actor Oscar this year. A concept which baffles me completely.

However, here is Example A:

As for Daniel Day-Lewis, well, this is his time. Awards season. Strangely enough, DDL has taken a backseat to Colin Firth and George Clooney early in the game. Some prediction sites don’t even have him in nomination contention.

Dumb.

You never count out DDL.
And Example B:
Click here for the review. See? You never, ever EVER count out Daniel Day-Lewis.
Um, no. You can count out DDL winning his THIRD Best Actor Oscar next year. It ain't gonna happen. No man alive or dead has won THREE Best Actor Oscars. Not even Jack Nicholson. So why would the Academy just decide to anoint DDL with this honor? Because he did a musical? Please. He'll get the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, but he ain't gonna be bringing another Oscar home next March no matter how hard Harvey campaigns. If the Academy decides to give DDL a THIRD Best Actor trophy, then it'll be several years in the future, not two years after he won his second. The Hollywood Institution known as Tom Hanks couldn't make a Third Best Actor happen for Cast Away even when he was practically the only actor in half the movie and won several critics' awards. And everyone knows DDL will be a contender for something in the future eventually, unless he decides to retire from acting after Nine. And if he did, then it just would prove that there's no point in giving him a THIRD.

If you really think DDL could bring it home, then you need to explain why the Best Actor Oscar won't be going to Jeff Bridges, who has never won an Oscar. Or Morgan Freeman who has never won the Best Actor Oscar. Or George Clooney, who also has never won a Best Actor Oscar. Or Viggo Mortensen, for The Road, who has never won an Oscar. Or Colin Firth, who has never won an Oscar. Or "newcomer" Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker. Hell, you can fill the nominations for the Best Actor category quite easily without including DDL. At this point, no matter what "the buzz" is saying, DDL will be lucky to be nominated for an Oscar this time around. It's far more likely that Ben Foster will be nominated as Best Actor for The Messenger than DDL will win his THIRD Best Actor trophy for Nine.

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I was spared

a fourth Twilight cover by Entertainment Weekly.

Somehow. Some way. I managed to not receive one of the three Twilight covers of the new issue.

Perhaps they put those only on newsstands to make the Twi-Hards fork over more of their cash in case they were actually subscribers? It would be a smart business strategy because they'll clearly buy anything.

Still, I was so relieved to see the "Late Greats" cover when I pulled it out of my mailbox instead of Team Whatever from Twilight.

I really can't wait until that shit is over.

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A Christmas Carol

I think the version with George C. Scott will always be my favorite since I saw it on tv as a child, but I actually enjoyed this one. Somewhat to my surprise. I teared up/cried quite a bit too. Perhaps because I was still upset over the meeting earlier in the day. (I saw this last Sunday.) I think it achieved genuine sincerity from the characters like Pixar tends to achieve.

When I was watching it, I remembered that Bob Cratchit is not poor but middle class. Similar conditions exist today where CEOs take in a couple hundred times what their average workers receive for salary and the middle class is getting screwed again. Most of these current CEOs are nothing but greedy. Yes, many do decent work but they're severely overpaid. I doubt many of them would see this movie and realize they need to share the wealth. The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future have no plans to visit them. And it's ironic that during the current health care debate, modern-day Tiny Tims can be found almost anywhere.

On a different note, that Amblin/E.T. moon shot was lame. No one laughed at it.

Still, a good movie. I actually recommend it.

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